The Very Secret Diary
Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Michele L. Worley
US hardcover edition: pages 227 - 248
UK paperback edition: pages 246 - 268
In which Myrtle's toilet
floods, Harry finds
Tom Riddle's diary which he
shows to a now fur-free Hermione, and they begin a
search to discover who the owner was. Lockhart stages a
Valentine's party complete with dwarfs as cupids. That night
Harry learns the secret of the diary, goes back in time, and
discovers - or so he believes - that it was Hagrid who last
opened the Chamber of Secrets.
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
Most of the events of this chapter take place on Valentine's Day
(or on 13 June, 50 years ago, depending on one's point of view).
"Is Lockhart the smarmiest bloke you've ever met, or what?"
Ron said to Harry as they left the dormitory and started up the stairs
towards Gryffindor Tower.
Snape had given them so much homework, Harry thought he was likely to be
in the sixth year before he finished it. Ron was just saying he wished
he had asked Hermione how many rat tails you were supposed to add to a
A small, thin book lay there. It had a shabby black cover and was as
wet as everything else in the bathroom.
"Dangerous?" said Harry, laughing. "Come off it,
how could it be dangerous?"
"You'd be surprised," said Ron, who was looking apprehensively
at the book. "Some of the books the Ministry's confiscated - Dad's
told me - there was one that burned your eyes out."
"And everyone who read Sonnets of a Sorcerer spoke in
limericks for the rest of their lives."
"And some old witch in Bath had a book that you could never stop
reading! You just had to wander around with your nose in it,
trying to do everything one-handed."
"Because Filch made me polish his shield about fifty times in
detention," said Ron resentfully. "That was the one I
burped slugs all over."
"If you'd wiped slime off a name for an hour, you'd remember it,
"I wouldn't mind knowing how Riddle got an award for special
services to Hogwarts, either."
"Could've been anything," said Ron. "Maybe he got
"or saved a teacher from the giant squid."
"Maybe he murdered Myrtle, that would've done everyone a
"It might be invisible ink!" she whispered.
She tapped the diary three times and said,
Undaunted, Hermione shoved her hand back into her bag and
pulled out what appeared to be a bright red eraser.
"It's a Revealer, I got it in Diagon Alley,"
However, they did find Riddle's name on an old
Medal for Magical Merit, and on a list of old
"He sounds like Percy," said Ron, wrinkling
his nose in disgust.
"Prefect, Head Boy - probably top of every class."
"You say that like it's a bad thing," said Hermione,
in a slightly hurt voice.
...Madam Pomfrey was pleased to report that the mandrakes were
becoming moody and secretive, meaning that they were fast
"The moment their acne clears up, they'll be ready for
repotting again," Harry heard her telling Filch kindly
Worse still, heart-shaped confetti was falling from the
pale blue ceiling.
Lockhart clapped his hands and through the doors to the
Entrance Hall marched a dozen surly-looking dwarfs.
"They will be roving around the school today delivering
"Why not ask Professor Snape to show you how to whip
up a Love Potion!"
"And while you're at it, Professor Flitwick knows more about
Entrancing Enchantments than any wizard I've ever met, the sly
Hot all over at the thought of being given a Valentine in front of a queue
of first-years, which happened to include Ginny Weasley, Harry tried to
"I've got a musical message to deliver to Harry Potter in person,"
he said, twanging his harp in a threatening sort of way.
With a loud, ripping noise, his bag split in two. His books, wand,
parchment and quill spilled onto the floor and his ink bottle
smashed over the lot.
"What's going on here?" came the cold, drawling voice of
"What's all this commotion?" said another familiar voice,
as Percy Weasley arrived.
His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,
His hair is as dark as a blackboard.
I wish he was mine, he's really divine,
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord.
This was partly because he didn't think he could stand Fred and
"His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad",
one more time...
The pages of the diary began to blow as though caught in a high
wind, stopping halfway through the month of June. Mouth hanging
open, Harry saw that the little square for June the thirteenth
seemed to have turned into a miniscule television screen.
This circular room with the sleeping portraits was Dumbledore's office -
but it wasn't Dumbledore who was sitting behind the desk.
A wizened, frail-looking wizard, bald except for a few wisps of white
hair, was reading a letter by candlelight.
Harry looked around the office. No Fawkes the phoenix; no whirring
"You are Muggle-born?"
"Half-blood, sir," said Riddle. "Muggle father,
"My mother died just after I was born, sir. They told me
at the orphanage she lived just long enough to name me: Tom
after my father, Marvolo after my grandfather."
...a tall wizard with long, sweeping auburn hair and beard
called to Riddle from the marble staircase.
His spell lit the corridor with a sudden flaming light. The
door behind the large boy flew open with such force it
knocked him into the wall opposite.
- Riddle raised his hand again, but he was too late.
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
(in the diary)
(surname unknown), Myrtle
(unnamed) a dozen dwarfs
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
Pomfrey, as Pomfrey
reassures him that the mandrakes are coming along nicely and that
he'll have Mrs. Norris back in no time.
Harry and Dudley, summarized in Harry's observation that Dudley saw to it
that Harry never had friends before his admission to Hogwarts.
Harry, trying to laugh at the singing Valentine even though he's
just been embarrassed in public.
Hagrid, who believed in
Aragog's innocence and acted to protect him, despite the cost to himself.
Lockhart, who demonstrates
his lack of consideration for his colleagues by encouraging the students
to pester them with silly requests, while arranging for the dwarfs to
interrupt their classes with Valentine deliveries all day long.
Riddle, framing Hagrid for
what he himself had done.
Links and Resources:
"If I'd sprouted whiskers, I'd take a break from work," said Ron,
tipping a stack of books onto Hermione's bedside table one evening.
Snape looked as though someone had
just fed him a large beaker of
Snape was looking as though
the first person to ask him for a
Love Potion would be
The action of this chapter begins just after Christmas, in the
aftermath of the Polyjuice incident, and ends late on Valentine's